Police officer resigns ahead of hearing on Puerto Rico shirt incident


An Illinois man who allegedly harassed a woman for wearing a Puerto Rican flag T-shirt in a now-viral video was charged with a felony hate crime on Thursday.

Earlier this week, the parks department confirmed that Trybus was charged with simple assault and that the investigation into the incident was ongoing.

After Conner resigned, the general superintendent of Cook County Forest Preserve, Arnold Randall, apologized for the incident.

A woman who was visiting Caldwell Woods on June 14 complained that a man approached her and questioned her citizenship, telling her she shouldn't be wearing the Puerto Rico shirt, even though the Caribbean island is a USA commonwealth and its residents are considered American citizens.

In the video, posted to Facebook by Irizarry, he can be seen repeatedly coming towards her while shouting at her as she asks him to stop.

"You should not be wearing that shirt in the United States of America". Her friends can be heard telling him that Puerto Rico is part of the United States.

"The 10-year veteran officer resigned late Wednesday, according to Cook County Forest Preserve District officials, rather than fight to keep his badge over the encounter that has been recorded and viewed millions of times, drawing worldwide scorn for Connor's inaction", the outlet reported.

During the encounter, Irizarry asks Officer Connor to intervene as she feels "highly uncomfortable" as the 62-year-old continues to intimidate her.

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The officer, Patrick Connor, did not come to the woman's aid or defuse the situation, drawing ire on social media for his inaction. He was supposed to face a disciplinary hearing Thursday.

"I felt so drawn out", she said in the interview.

Irizzary then tries to plead with policeman again, saying: 'Officer, I paid for a permit for this area, I do not feel comfortable here, is there anything you can do?' "You should be wearing United States of America flag", he said. In the background, a police officer is standing outside the park pavilion. About 10 minutes into the video, more police officers arrived.

"It was truly appalling, gut wrenching and a real wake up call", Cook County Commissioner Luis Arroyo Jr. said. "You know that, right?"

One of the other responding officers tells Trybus that he can't be harassing people, adding that people have just as much right to be in the park as he does.

He said his agency would re-examine the diversity training for its officers and other employees. She said the group politely complied but her Puerto Rico shirt appeared to act as a trigger to the man.

Eventually, the first officer on the scene takes notes of Irizarry's account of the incident and says he was at the scene due to the separate incident, noting she was not being attacked though acknowledging she felt threatened. The island is a USA commonwealth, and Puerto Ricans are American citizens.